Congratulations Stephanie Jallen


Hey Northeast Pennsylvania, great news — our very own Stephanie Jallen has won 2 bronze medals at the 2014 Paralympics currently being held in Russia. Perhaps, when we feel sorry for ourselves, and are looking to blame others, we can follow the example of this incredible teenager, who didn’t seek the sympathy from this world so many desire, she only sought the opportunity to compete, and not only did she complete, she won. 
 
I wrote the following 2 columns many years ago, the first one appeared in the Sunday Dispatch, the 2nd I wrote for the Dispatch, but Ed Ackerman never ran it. I am hoping that you may run them for WoW.  The Steve Corbett’s of the world seek to place blame and verbally beat people down by telling us what we can’t do, maybe others will find the inspiration in this young person who didn’t worry about what others told her she couldn’t do, she simply went out and did.

Inspiration

As I am writing this the Thanksgiving holiday has just passed, it is time to get back on the workout wagon.  A day of gorging and feasting is followed by a return to the track to run and the gym to lift weights.
The heating rays of our star Sol barely warms the northeast from November to March, but today’s cloud cover made for a particularly dank, dreary, desolate day.  So gray were the skies that my usually high motivation to exercise was replaced by the blahs.
I completed my laps around the stadium oval and drove off to the second half of my daily, personal biathlon. I parked my car, hefted my bulk from the driver’s seat, opened the trunk and grabbed my gear. I slowly passed through the gym entrance closing the door to the dismal day behind me. I peered down the hallway and fought the urge to turn on my heel and exit. Eventually, I plodded my way down what felt like an unending corridor. A stop at my locker to put my clothes away lasted longer than usual. I finally progressed to the weight room trying to come up with any excuse not to.
I scanned around hoping that someone was using the leg press machine – no one was. I stared at the one hundred pound plates I would need to lug up and onto the machine and thought ‘maybe I’ll just use the forty-fives’. My mind and body were both in agreement, I was not in the mood, but I forced myself onward.
As I neared the equipment the sun caught my eye. It was not the center of our solar system, it was the rays emanating from a young girl pausing between sets of her routine. A broad smile dominated her face as she talked with her barking, bellicose personal trainer. She then turned her attention back to the cold, unyielding iron. A smile no longer was apparent, it was replaced by a look of ferocious intensity. It is a look I have seen before; in the eyes of the elite athletes I have trained with and treated over the years – it was the look of a champion.
Then I noticed something that should have been apparent, but I was so caught up in first her joy for what she was doing, then the intensity which she carried it out, I did not see that she was missing one arm and one leg. The inability to grip the bar with two hands did not deter this young person’s enthusiasm for her training. I smiled outwardly, but inwardly I was ashamed at my mental attempts to avoid exercise.
Inspiration is found in many forms, but on this day,  inspiration was brought forth by another’s joy and passion; another’s delectation for an activity that I have had an on and off relationship with since my parents purchased my first barbell set from Sears when I was twelve. More inspirational though, was the way she was dealing with what was apparent adversity – seemingly she was ignoring it.
In the last Rocky movie, when junior was complaining about trying to live in his father’s large shadow,Stallone’s iconic character uttered the following statement. “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you!”
Sure it is a line from a movie, but the girl I watched today, she did not appear to cower. Now, I don’t know her story, I don’t know her name, I never saw her before today, I don’t know anything other than the following:
There are many excuses not to do, but there are few legitimate reasons. Life is not fair, it is not easy and no matter what our problems are, whether they appear trivial or extreme, they need to be handled and life needs to be more than simply lived.
I was not the only one affected on this day. I chatted with another person who was equally inspired.
Finally, the word “can’t” should be abolished from our vocabulary. When I don’t feel like going to the gym or going to the track or facing a difficult situation I will forever remember what I saw today and will know what can be accomplished.
***************************************************************************

“Handicapped is a mental state!”

Last December, I wrote the above column describing a very inspirational moment.  I saw a young person who was missing her left arm and leg ferociously training with the look and intensity of many champion athletes I have met over the years. At the time I didn’t know her story. I didn’t even know her name.
Since that column appeared, I have had many people tell me about the incredible Stephanie Jallen. During a meeting with Senator Ray Musto and his wife, Frances, I was encouraged to have a face to face with Stephanie. I made a phone call to the Senator’s Pittston office and within hours I received a return phone call from Stephanie’s proud and supportive mother Deborah Jallen.
In the course of my life, I have had the chance to train with champion bodybuilders and strength athletes, I have broken bread with multi-millionaires, talked politics with national and state elected politicos and I even had the chance to campaign with the great Lynn Swann. The people I have met are all impressive in their own right, however compared to Stephanie Jallen …   well, there is no comparison — Stephanie is in a league all her own.
This impressive person will make you forget that she has just embarked on her teenage years. She answers questions and discusses her life with the poise and confidence of someone who has spent eternity in the limelight.
I asked Stephanie how I should refer to her in this column.
Should I say she is handicapped?
A special needs person?
I wasn’t sure what terminology to use.
She told me I should refer to her as normal, and that is when she uttered the title of this column.
Prior to skiing, Stephanie had been involved in basketball and soccer. Then a little over four years ago, she received a letter inviting her to a PA Center for Adapted Sports Clinic. There she discovered skiing. Instructors wanted Stephanie to ski in the seated position, but the nine year old Miss Jallen would not hear of it. She insisted, and obviously got her way — she would ski standing up.
A chance meeting with personal trainer Ernie Baul, occurred at a fundraiser that would impact her future training. Stephanie’s congenital condition caused her left side to be underdeveloped, leaving her arm very short, tapering down to one digit. Her left leg had to be amputated when she was an infant. Ernie focuses her training on underused muscles and works especially hard on keeping her hip, leg, knee and ankle strong and stable.
Stephanie told me that Ernie’s training program has translated into a dramatic improvement in her performance.
In the last year, the fiercely competitive athlete entered her first international competition — the Huntsman Cup in Utah.
How did she do?
How does three gold medals and a bronze sound?
Stephanie is a talented skier who is on track for the 2014 Paralympics to be held in Russia. Her ability has led her to be competing above her age level.
She is not limited by her lack of a full left arm, nor by her lack of a left leg.
She can, however, be limited by funding.
It is not an inexpensive endeavor Stephanie has undertaken. Unlike the professionals, USOC and corporate sponsors that dominate the Olympic games, the Paralympics have no such financial backing in place. Several fundraisers have been held, but money can become a limiting factor.
In today’s sports environment we glorify steroid bloated baseball bashers, but sometimes true sports heroes are here at home.
Stephanie is getting help with her training thanks to the generous spirits of the before mentioned Ernie Ball, who trains her at no charge. Larry Danko has shown his heart fills his massive chest by allowing Stephanie pro bono use of his first class facility. We are the valley with a heart and it is my hope that we adopt Stephanie’s journey as our own.
The news continues to give us many people to be ashamed of — Stephanie Jallen is someone of whom we can be very proud!
I do not think of  Stephanie as a handicapped athlete.
I don’t think of  her as a special needs person.
When she wins the gold at the Paralympics, I won’t think of   her as a Paralympic Medalist.
She is — Stephanie Jallen: Athlete; Stephanie Jallen: Champion.

Inspiration Revisited — Part II


I was asked my a friend if I ever met the young woman whom I mentioned in my previous post, Inspiration Revisited.  Well, I did and I wrote about it a couple of years ago.  The column was intended to be in the Pittston Sunday Dispatch, the paper that printed the original column, but for whatever reason, it was never printed in the paper’s pages.  And, I did submit it several times.

Last night I was at a bodybuilding event/fundraiser for the incredible young woman I first saw last year around this time. Here is the much requested follow up:

“Handicapped is a mental state!”
by: Chiropractor Doc Iokepa Leonardi

Last December, I wrote a column describing a very inspirational moment.  I saw a young person who was missing her left arm and leg ferociously training with the look and intensity of many champion athletes I have met over the years. At the time I didn’t know her story. I didn’t even know her name.

Since that column appeared, I have had many people tell me about the incredible Stephanie Jallen. During a meeting with Senator Ray Musto and his wife, Frances, I was encouraged to have a face to face with Stephanie. I made a phone call to the Senator’s Pittston office and within hours I received a return phone call from Stephanie’s proud and supportive mother Deborah Jallen.

Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 2006

Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the course of my life, I have had the chance to train with champion bodybuilders and strength athletes, I have broken bread with multi-millionaires, talked politics with national and state elected politicos and I even had the chance to campaign with the great Lynn Swann. The people I have met are all impressive in their own right, however compared to Stephanie Jallen, well, there is no comparison — Stephanie is in a league all her own.

This impressive person will make you forget that she has just embarked on her teenage years. She answers questions and discusses her life with the poise and confidence of someone who has spent eternity in the limelight.

I asked Stephanie how I should refer to her in this column.

Should I say she is handicapped?

A special needs person?

I wasn’t sure what term to use.

She told me I should refer to her as normal and that is when she uttered the title of this column.

Prior to skiing, Stephanie had been involved in basketball and soccer. Then a little over four years ago, she received a letter inviting her to a PA Center for Adapted Sports Clinic. There she discovered skiing. Instructors wanted Stephanie to ski in the seated position, but the nine year old Miss Jallen would not hear of it. She insisted and obviously got her way — she would ski standing up.

A chance meeting with personal trainer Ernie Baul occurred at a fundraiser that would impact her future training. Stephanie’s congenital condition caused her left side to be underdeveloped, leaving her arm very short, tapering down to one digit. Her left leg had to be amputated when she was an infant. Ernie focuses her training on underused muscles and works especially hard on keeping her hip, leg, knee and ankle strong and stable.

Stephanie told me that Ernie’s training program has translated into a dramatic improvement in her performance.

In the last year, the fiercely competitive athlete entered her first international competition — the Huntsman Cup in Utah.

How did she do? How does three gold medals and a bronze sound?

Paralympic Movement flag

Image via Wikipedia

Stephanie is a talented skier who is on track for the 2014 Paralympics to be held in Russia. Her ability has led her to be competing above her age level.

She is not limited by her lack of a full left arm, nor by her lack of a left leg.
She can, however, be limited by funding.

It is not an inexpensive endeavor Stephanie has undertaken. Unlike the professionals, USOC and corporate sponsors that dominate the Olympic games, the Paralympics have no such financial backing in place. Several fundraisers have been held, but money can become a limiting factor.

In today’s sports environment, we glorify steroid bloated baseball bashers, but sometimes true sports heroes are here at home.

Stephanie is getting help with her training thanks to the generous spirits of the before mentioned Ernie Ball, who trains her at no charge. Larry Danko has shown his heart fills his massive chest by allowing Stephanie pro bono use of his first class facility. We are the valley with a heart and it is my hope that we adopt Stephanie’s journey as our own.

The news continues to give us many people to be ashamed of — Stephanie Jallen is someone of whom we can be very proud!

I do not think of  Stephanie as a handicapped athlete.

I don’t think of  her as a special needs person.

When she wins the gold at the Paralympics, I won’t think of   her as a Paralympic Medalist.

She is — Stephanie Jallen, Athlete; Stephanie Jallen, Champion.

https://www.createspace.com/3903024

calihttp://www.obesityundone.com/

Physical Culturist and Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book, “Obesity Undone” and a contributor to NaturallySavvy.com and CarbSmart.com. He is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcast or television outlet.

He has appeared on 94.3FM’s The David Maderia Show, What’s Weighing You Down, w/Dr. Marilyn Gansel on FTNS radio, Nurture and Nutrition on Blog Talk Radio, Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends, BlogTalk Radio’s Toni Harris Speaks, Internet Radio: Cathie’s Talking, TV -35′s Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud, WILK’s The Sue Henry Show, Magic 93′s Frankie In The Morning, WBRE’s PA Live, SSPTV’s News 13, Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast; and the one and only Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast.
Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at docjoeleonardi@betterlifeseminars.com and check out his website http://www.betterlifeseminars.com.
———————————————————————————————————————
************The information contained herin is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do 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 No guarantees are made or to be implied.************

 

Inspiration Revisited


I wrote the below column a little more than two years ago.  I still receive comments about it, so I thought I would re-post it here, as a way to kick off the beginning of my 48th year on planet Earth — I absolutely  love getting older.  There are aspects of my life that could be better, and some that could be much worse.  Most importantly, I have a great family, relationship,  I am in good physical health and I am very fit,  but I do have 2 minor complaints; reading glasses and nose hair. So, in the grand scheme things are going well. However, if you are ever feeling down and out about reaching your fitness goals, please read the following.  Joe

Inspiration

By: Joe Leonardi

As I am writing this the Thanksgiving holiday has just passed, it is time to get back on the workout wagon. A day of gorging and feasting is followed by a return to the track to run and the gym to lift weights.

The heating rays of our star Sol barely warm the northeast from November to March, but today’s cloud cover made for a particularly dank, dreary, desolate day. So gray were the skies that my usually high motivation to exercise was replaced by the blahs.

I completed my laps around the stadium oval and drove off to the second half of my daily, personal biathlon. I parked my car, hefted my bulk from the driver’s seat, opened the trunk and grabbed my gear. I slowly passed through the gym entrance closing the door to the dismal day behind me. I peered down the hallway and fought the urge to turn on my heel and exit. Eventually, I plodded my way down what felt like an unending corridor. A stop at my locker to put my clothes away lasted longer than usual. I finally progressed to the weight room trying to come up with any excuse not to.

I scanned around hoping that someone was using the leg press machine – no one was. I stared at the one hundred pound plates I would need to lug up and onto the machine and thought ‘maybe I’ll just use the forty-fives’. My mind and body were both in agreement, I was not in the mood, but I forced myself onward.

As I neared the equipment the sun caught my eye. It was not the center of our solar system, it was the rays emanating from a young girl pausing between sets of her routine. A broad smile dominated her face as she talked with her barking, bellicose personal trainer. She then turned her attention back to the cold, unyielding iron. A smile no longer was apparent, it was replaced by a look of ferocious intensity. It is a look I have seen before; in the eyes of the elite athletes I have trained with and treated over the years – it was the look of a champion.

Then I noticed something that should have been apparent, but I was so caught up in first her joy for what she was doing, then the intensity which she carried it out, I did not see that she was missing one arm and one leg. The inability to grip the bar with two hands did not deter this young person’s enthusiasm for her training. I smiled outwardly, but inwardly I was ashamed at my mental attempts to avoid exercise.

Inspiration is found in many forms, but on this day the ultimate inspiration was brought forth by another’s joy and passion; another’s delectation for an activity that I have had an on and off relationship with since my parents purchased my first barbell set from Sears when I was twelve years old. More inspirational though, was the way she was dealing with what was apparent adversity – seemingly she was ignoring it.

Cover of

Cover of Rocky

In the last Rocky movie, when junior was complaining about trying to live in his father’s large shadow, Stallone’s iconic character uttered the following statement. “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you!”

Sure it is a line from a movie, but the girl I watched today, she did not appear to cower. Now, I don’t know her story, I don’t know her name, I never saw her before today, I don’t know anything other than the following:

There are many excuses not to do, but there are few legitimate reasons. Life is not fair, it is not easy and no matter what our problems are, whether they appear trivial or extreme, they need to be handled and life needs to be more than just lived.

I was not the only one affected on this day. I chatted with another person who was equally inspired.

Finally, the word “can’t” should be abolished from my vocabulary. When I don’t feel like going to the gym or going to the track or facing a difficult situation I will forever remember what I saw today and will know what can be accomplished.

——————————————————————————————————

Physical Culturist and Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book, “Obesity Undone” and a contributor to NaturallySavvy.com. He is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcast or television outlet. His web site www.ObesityUndone.com is available to help you reach your goals.

He has appeared on 94.3FM’s The David Maderia Show, Bounce Back to Your Brilliance w/Angel Tyree, What’s Weighing You Downw/Dr. Marilyn Gansel on FTNS radio, Nurture and Nutrition on Blog Talk Radio, Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends, BlogTalk Radio’s Toni Harris Speaks, Internet Radio: Cathie’s Talking, TV -35′s Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud, WILK’s The Sue Henry Show, Magic 93′s Frankie In The Morning, WBRE’s PA Live, SSPTV’s News 13, Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast; and the one and only Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast.
Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at docjoeleonardi@betterlifeseminars.com and check out his website www.betterlifeseminars.com.
———————————————————————————————————————
************The information in the videos is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting that I write do 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.************

cles

I WAS Martin Kessman


{What I am about to write is based on the fact that there has been no report that Mr. Kessman has an underlying medical or genetic condition that IS the cause of his morbid obesity.  All what I write is intended to be about my experience and for those who do NOT have an underlying medical condition.}

I have read with interest, the very limited reporting on Martin Kessman and his lawsuit against Weight Castle, I mean White Castle. Not too long ago I weighed a ponderous, pachydermian 340 pounds. I was not overweight, nor heavy, nor big-boned, nor simply obese; I had morphed into the morbidly obese category.

I would belt my pants first because I couldn’t reach around to put it through the loops when I was wearing them.

I feared getting on an airplane, not because of flying, because I couldn’t fit into the seat.

I couldn’t walk a flight of stairs without stopping to deeply inhale much needed air.

I wore loafers or pre-tied my shoes, because I couldn’t bend over to tie them.

And YES, I could NOT fit into any BOOTH at a restaurant; fast food or other.

I have genuine issues with people who attempt to play the victim card for their own poor eating choices. I have genuine issues with people who expect the world to bow to their lack of self-control. And, I have genuine issues with people who attempt to exploit accommodations for those who have real disabilities, because of their lack of self-discipline. Much of what I write may be perceived as harsh, but when people don’t take responsibility for their own health and fitness, as I once did not, it get’s my Sicilian blood boiling.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, exists to make sure people, who through no fault of their own, who have a disability, have equal access to goods and services. What is astonishing, is that there are those who have true disabilities who do NOT allow their perceived disability to be an obstacle in their lives.

I wrote about a young women, Stephanie Jallen, who was born with congenital issues that left her with an underdeveloped arm and required one leg to be amputated. This young woman is pursuing her goal of competing in the 2014 Paralympics. When I interviewed her for a follow up column, I asked her how I should refer to her.  Should I say she is handicapped? A special needs person? — I wasn’t sure what term to use.

She told me I should refer to her as normal, she then added — HANDICAPPED IS A MENTAL STATE!  This young woman was only 13 years old when she made that statement, not an adult who is well aware that his or her limitations are their own cause.

Bethany Hamilton

Image by Kanaka Menehune via Flickr

Photo by Noah Hamilton

Photo by Noah Hamilton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other inspirational individual I wrote about is Bethany Hamilton.  Her story was captured in the film Soul Surfer. For those who don’t know who she is; at the age of 13, while surfing, Bethany had her arm bitten off by a shark.  Let me repeat that,  her arm was bitten off by a shark. Instead of crying to the world to feel sorry for her, young Bethany embarked on a training regiment and made modifications, so she could continue her dream of pursuing a pro surfing career.  By the way, today she is a pro surfer.

Neither of the above inspirational individual’s situation was caused because they overstuffed themselves with food.  Neither situation was the result of self-inflicted limitations.  So, what does it say about our society that people of age and maturity complain about being victims of circumstance, circumstance that they themselves created? Amazing!  More amazing is that  people as young as thirteen don’t want society to make accommodations for them?  They don’t want to be viewed as disabled.  They are so driven and so focused that they go on to achieve and fulfill their dreams; while other simply cry victim and want the world to change for them.

If Mr. Kessman does not have an underlying medical condition; then perhaps instead of eating obesity inducing food at White Castle since 1959, he should have been following a low carb, paleo or primal diet and exercising.  In his lawsuit he claims “his inability to fit into the “booth-style seating” was “extremely embarrassing … to have to experience in front of a restaurant full of customers,” yet, he has no problem posing his protruding abdomen for a picture to be spread all over the world.

He claims to just want to sit down like a normal person.  First off, what is normal?  I don’t strive to be normal; I strive for excellence, but with that said, if he wants to sit in a booth like a normal person, then push the plate away and, after medical clearance via a  thorough physical, start doing more exercise than simply lifting food to his mouth.

I can relate to Mr Kessman, I was him.  Hell, I was once even more obese than he.  If he would like to enjoy his remaining years and have a better physical quality of life, I will be more than willing to take him on as a client and get him in shape.

Finally, of what I have read, one claim of his did bring a knowing smile to my face.  He claims the he is not humongous, he is just a big guy.

Funny, I used to tell myself that  as well.

——————————————————————————————————

Physical Culturist and Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book, “Obesity Undone” and a contributor to NaturallySavvy.com. He is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcast or television outlet. His web site www.ObesityUndone.com is available to help you reach your goals.

He has appeared on 94.3FM’s The David Maderia Show, Bounce Back to Your Brilliance w/Angel Tyree, What’s Weighing You Downw/Dr. Marilyn Gansel on FTNS radio, Nurture and Nutrition on Blog Talk Radio, Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends, BlogTalk Radio’s Toni Harris Speaks, Internet Radio: Cathie’s Talking, TV -35′s Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud, WILK’s The Sue Henry Show, Magic 93′s Frankie In The Morning, WBRE’s PA Live, SSPTV’s News 13, Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast; and the one and only Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast.
Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at docjoeleonardi@betterlifeseminars.com and check out his website www.betterlifeseminars.com.
———————————————————————————————————————
************The information contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting that I write do 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.************

 

Related articles

I Was Obese and Out Of Shape — I Was Martin Kessman


{What I am about to write is based on the fact that there has been no report that Mr. Kessman has an underlying medical or genetic condition that IS the cause of his morbid obesity.  All what I write is intended to be about my experience and for those who do NOT have an underlying medical condition.}

I have read with interest, the very limited reporting on Martin Kessman and his lawsuit against Weight Castle, I mean White Castle. Not too long ago I weighed a ponderous, pachydermian 340 pounds. I was not overweight, nor heavy, nor big-boned, nor simply obese; I had morphed into the morbidly obese category.

I would belt my pants first because I couldn’t reach around to put it through the loops when I was wearing them.

I feared getting on an airplane, not because of flying, because I couldn’t fit into the seat.

I couldn’t walk a flight of stairs without stopping to deeply inhale much needed air.

I wore loafers or pre-tied my shoes, because I couldn’t bend over to tie them.

And YES, I could NOT fit into any BOOTH at a restaurant; fast food or other.

I have genuine issues with people who attempt to play the victim card for their own poor eating choices. I have genuine issues with people who expect the world to bow to their lack of self-control. And, I have genuine issues with people who attempt to exploit accommodations for those who have real disabilities, because of their lack of self-discipline. Much of what I write may be perceived as harsh, but when people don’t take responsibility for their own health and fitness, as I once did not, it get’s my Sicilian blood boiling.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, exists to make sure people, who through no fault of their own, who have a disability, have equal access to goods and services. What is astonishing, is that there are those who have true disabilities who do NOT allow their perceived disability to be an obstacle in their lives.

I wrote about a young women, Stephanie Jallen, who was born with congenital issues that left her with an underdeveloped arm and required one leg to be amputated. This young woman is pursuing her goal of competing in the 2014 Paralympics. When I interviewed her for a follow up column, I asked her how I should refer to her.  Should I say she is handicapped? A special needs person? — I wasn’t sure what term to use.

She told me I should refer to her as normal, she then added — HANDICAPPED IS A MENTAL STATE!  This young woman was only 13 years old when she made that statement, not an adult who is well aware that his or her limitations are their own cause.

Bethany Hamilton

Image by Kanaka Menehune via Flickr

The other inspirational individual I wrote about is Bethany Hamilton.  Her story was captured in the film Soul Surfer. For those who don’t know who she is; at the age of 13, while surfing, Bethany had her arm bitten off by a shark.  Let me repeat that,  her arm was bitten off by a shark. Instead of crying to the world to feel sorry for her, young Bethany embarked on a training regiment and made modifications, so she could continue her dream of pursuing a pro surfing career.  By the way, today she is a pro surfer.

Neither of the above inspirational individual’s situation was caused because they overstuffed themselves with food.  Neither situation was the result of self-inflicted limitations.  So, what does it say about our society that people of age and maturity complain about being victims of circumstance, circumstance that they themselves created? Amazing!  More amazing is that  people as young as thirteen don’t want society to make accommodations for them?  They don’t want to be viewed as disabled.  They are so driven and so focused that they go on to achieve and fulfill their dreams; while other simply cry victim and want the world to change for them.

If Mr. Kessman does not have an underlying medical condition; then perhaps instead of eating obesity inducing food at White Castle since 1959, he should have been following a low carb diet and exercising.  In his lawsuit he claims “his inability to fit into the “booth-style seating” was “extremely embarrassing … to have to experience in front of a restaurant full of customers,” yet, he has no problem posing his protruding abdomen for a picture to be spread all over the world.

He claims to just want to sit down like a normal person.  First off, what is normal?  I don’t strive to be normal; I strive for excellence, but with that said, if he wants to sit in a booth like a normal person, then push the plate away and, after medical clearance via a  thorough physical, start doing more exercise than simply lifting food to his mouth.

I can relate to Mr Kessman.  I was once even more obese than he.  If he would like to enjoy his remaining years and have a better physical quality of life, I will be more than willing to take him on as a client and get him in shape.

Finally, of what I have read, one claim of his did bring a knowing smile to my face.  He claims the he is not humongous, he is just a big guy.

Funny, I used to tell myself that  as well.

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Physical Culturist and Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book, “Obesity Undone” and a contributor to NaturallySavvy.com. He is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcast or television outlet. His web site www.ObesityUndone.com is available to help you reach your goals.

He has appeared on 94.3FM’s The David Maderia Show, Bounce Back to Your Brilliance w/Angel Tyree, What’s Weighing You Downw/Dr. Marilyn Gansel on FTNS radio, Nurture and Nutrition on Blog Talk Radio, Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends, BlogTalk Radio’s Toni Harris Speaks, Internet Radio: Cathie’s Talking, TV -35′s Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud, WILK’s The Sue Henry Show, Magic 93′s Frankie In The Morning, WBRE’s PA Live, SSPTV’s News 13, Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast; and the one and only Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast.
Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at docjoeleonardi@betterlifeseminars.com and check out his website www.betterlifeseminars.com.
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************The information in the videos is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting that I write do 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.************

Soul Surfer — The Triumph Of The Human Spirit


Movies, books, articles and stories have touched us all at one time or another.  Some stir us with negative emotions of outrage and anger.  Yet, others move us to action.  Moreover, others open our eyes to the realization of just how wonderful life is and inspire us to be more than we are.

The first movie ever to motivate me was Rocky.  The story of the broken down, never could have been a contender fighter was as uplifting as it was powerful.  How many kids cracked a half dozen or so eggs into a glass and felt the slime of raw eggs slip down our throats?  We convinced ourselves that it was delicious, and fought the reflex to expel the uncooked concoction, confident that we would be able to workout harder and heavier because it helped The Italian Stallion go the distance.

While the real life Ali-Wepner match may have sparked the fighting style, the tale of Rocky Balboa is Hollywood myth.  To paraphrase a cliché — Life is more uplifting than fiction.

Cover of

Cover via Amazon

Yesterday, I took my girlfriend’s daughter to see Soul Surfer; the real life account of Bethany Hamilton.  For those who don’t know; thirteen year old Hamilton was a rising surf star based in Hawaii.  One day while on the ocean training, a shark attack almost took her life.  While she survived the attack, the shark severed her left arm at the shoulder.

If there was a give reason to simply give up one’s dreams; that may have been it.  Yet, the young woman wasn’t about to quit.  After the attack, all she thought about was getting back on her board and competing.  When the task became  to be too difficult, she was ready to abandon her life’s ambition.

On a volunteer mission to help the tsunami-ravaged people of Thailand, she was given the opportunity to see human suffering up close.  Returning home, she was overwhelmed by letters from people across the globe who were inspired by the failed efforts that caused her to want to quit.

After some serious soul searching, Bethany Hamilton made the decision that what had happened to her would not derail her ambitions.  She made the choice to not simply overcome her circumstances, but to be better because of them.

One of my first columns that I authored for the Pittston Sunday Dispatch was about  local Paralympic skier; Stephanie Jallen. I discussed how I did not want to work out on a particular day just because I was tired.  I was inspired not to walk out of the gym or take it easy by the example of Miss Jallen.

I walked away from the movie feeling much the same way.  Life can be hard, brutal and downright unfair. There are harbingers of doom,  such as WILK’s Steve Corbett, who will tell you how awful your existence is —  but it is up to us how we chose to respond to adversity.

You can wallow in the angst and pessimism of those around you and quit on yourself, or you can follow the motivation stories of Stephanie Jallen and Bethany Hamilton and  take charge of the only thing in life you actually have any control over; yourself.

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Physical Culturist and Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book, “Obesity Undone” and a contributor to NaturallySavvy.com. He is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcast or television outlet. His web site www.ObesityUndone.com is available to help you reach your goals.

He has appeared on 94.3FM’s The David Maderia Show, Bounce Back to Your Brilliance w/Angel Tyree, What’s Weighing You Downw/Dr. Marilyn Gansel on FTNS radio, Nurture and Nutrition on Blog Talk Radio, Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends, BlogTalk Radio’s Toni Harris Speaks, Internet Radio: Cathie’s Talking, TV -35′s Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud, WILK’s The Sue Henry Show, Magic 93′s Frankie In The Morning, WBRE’s PA Live, SSPTV’s News 13, Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast; and the one and only Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast.
Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at docjoeleonardi@betterlifeseminars.com and check out his website www.betterlifeseminars.com.
———————————————————————————————————————
************The information  is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting that I write do 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.************