Archive for January, 2011

People love to stand where history has happened.  In Philly, I had a bowl of soup in a Pub that served George Washington dinner.  In Paris, I sought out the flat where Billy Strayhorn lived when he toured with Ellington.   There is a sign in the pavement on Market Street showing where Elvis’ last performance was at Market Square Arena.  Been there.  Today, the thrill was sitting where Peyton sat.

Indianapolis tore down the RCA Dome and put up a convention center, which opened today.  I accepted the invitation to the Open House, and met a prospect at the reception.  Lots of big, empty rooms, but…

Walking through the cavernous main hall, there was a little patch of green and a bench over on one side. 

A patch of astroturf and a bench

Someone with both a sense of humor and a sense of history had figured out exactly where the old sidelines were, and placed a section of the original player’s bench on that spot. 

Walking up, the sign noted that this was the spot that Peyton sat on the Colt’s bench, when this was the RCA Dome. 

Sitting on Ground Zero for a Colts fan…

Did I sit?  You bet. 


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Just had a lunch of carrot sticks and hummus.  Good.  I’m motivated to get to a healthy weight and stay there, and it’s the season to make resolutions. 

My key motivator?  The impression I will leave with a certain 2 ½ year old.  My oldest grandbaby is halfway through his 2’s and on his way to 3, and I realized that he will have long-term memories through his life, starting about now.  My first memories were from about that time, and I realize that he is now gathering the first impressions that he will carry through life.

I want him to remember a healthy Grandpa.  I want him to have me as a health role model, not a cautionary tale.  Why?  Because I have been too heavy lately, and I see a lot of big people around me.  I want to be a good example to Christopher.  Also, if I’m doing a lot of work in organizational wellness, I need to walk the talk.  Pun intended – I wear a pedometer.

Also, I am angry that nearly 1 in 5 of our children ages 6 to 19 is obese. That’s up from approximately 1 in 20 in 1980. The hospital costs associated with childhood obesity are in the mega-millions.  That scares me, enough to change my own behavior.

And now, a brief rant.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says “the causes of childhood obesity are multi-factorial.” No, they’re not. Our children are obese because they consume too much bad stuff and move too little. Their diets are high in bad carbohydrates (i.e., junk food) like french fries, sodas and sweets, and low in fresh vegetables, fruits and healthy sources of protein. They spend entirely too much time in front of televisions, video games and computers and not enough time in physical activity.

The best physical activity for a child is free play. A child enrolled in a micromanaged sport is not getting half the exercise I got playing sandlot games in the 1950s and ’60s. I recently did 2 hours in hand-to-hand care of Christopher in a park, and I liked what I saw.  He is certainly aerobic.

The solution?  Parents must  make their children’s weight a high priority. Yes, schools need to eliminate carbo-load lunches along with soda and snack machines, but in the final analysis, childhood obesity is going to be prevented and solved at home.   This is not tough.   Eat at least 90 percent of your meals at home, around the table instead of in front of a television set.  Prepare meals that are heart-healthy. When your children are hungry between meals, offer apples, cheese and raw vegetables. When they’re thirsty, direct them to the faucet.   Christopher’s mom is doing a fine job of this.

Exercise with them. Take daily walks and bicycle rides with your kids. Play catch. Throw Frisbees. When they say they’re bored, point to the back door.   

Okay, I’m off the soapbox for now.  But, learn from this.  Find out what you should weigh, get there and stay there. Having an overweight parent (and grandparent) greatly increases a child’s chances of being overweight.  As my friend Suzanne Metzger says – “The greatest gift you can give another is the example of your own life working, and working well.

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Welcome back!  Now, for the next drop in the bucket…

Rhetorical question – wouldn’t you love to have a quick guide to what is happening and when in health insurance reform?  I just found exactly that – click here.  It just takes some time and distance to make complex things clear…which is anther reason I am glad I work at Gregory & Appel.

Looking forward to a very interesting 2011.

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