Thursday, October 09, 2008

Dr. Sharma and I have Single Bypasses!

What you see above is a picture of me and my friend and colleague Dr. Arya Sharma (The guy on the left. The guy with the stethoscope? That’s the Grill’s owner “Dr.” Jon) at the Heart Attack Grill (blogged about previously here), but really what you're seeing is a picture of Arya and me practicing what we preach.

You might think that my statement above doesn't make sense, after all, the Canadian Medical Association Journal labeled me a "nutritional watchdog" and I run a behavioural weight management program and Arya, well Arya's the head of Capital Health's Weight Wise - the country's largest tertiary care bariatric centre and the scientific director of the Canadian Obesity Network, how could us eating - "flatliner" fries and "single bypass" burgers reflect our practices?

Simple - we preach that food and calories, while worth monitoring for nutrition and weight, are also used in life for comfort and celebration, and if you can't use food for comfort and celebration from time to time, you're probably on a diet and long-term, it's probably going to fail.

In terms of my lifestyle, excluding vacations and conferences I probably eat out a maximum of twice a month and just like most folks, I enjoy the taste of some foods that are let's say less than optimally nutritious, and sometimes I'll indulge. However what I don't do is give myself a carte blanche during those meals out - instead I choose the healthiest option that I think I'll enjoy so for instance at the Heart Attack Grill I had the single bypass (rather than the double, triple or quadruple), shared a fries with Arya and had water to drink.

As I regularly say weight management and healthy eating - they're about living the healthiest lives you can enjoy, not the healthiest lives you can tolerate. The former's a liveable lifestyle, the latter's just another short-term diet.

So if you're in Phoenix and you're so inclined, the Heart Attack Grill might well be worth a visit, but as the posting on their door states in big, bold, red writing,

"Caution! This Establishment is BAD for your Health!"

[Hat tip to Joe from Active Living magazine who inadvertently reminded me that the Heart Attack Grill was in Phoenix]