Some things are so awesome, they deserve a fist bump. Other things are so lame, maddening or disturbing, they deserve a fierce face palm to the forehead - as in, "Ugh, don't even." This is especially true when it comes to fitness and wellness - or the lack thereof.
Which brings us to the first in a regular installment: Badass First Bumps and Face Palms - shout-outs and call-outs for a variety of fitness current affairs, trends and developments. Yes, it is purely subjective. Yes, it is a little bit rant and a lot of praise. And no doubt, I am missing some deserving first bumps and face palms - so holler at me and let me know!
Until then, read on...
Badass Fist Bump to ... HBO, for its four-part documentary series "The Weight of the Nation." If you watch nothing else this year, watch this. If you struggle with your weight or love someone who does, watch this. If you care about children, watch this. If you think the rise in obesity in America isn't a big deal, watch this because it will show you how big a deal it is. Our children are growing so obese, they have early signs of heart disease and adult-onset diabetes. Morbid obesity in adults is rising, and not just among low-income Americans as has been the typical economic disparity. If nothing else, I guarantee once you see the enlarged, fat-encased and weak heart of a 500-lb man versus the healthy heart of a 26-year-old female who died of an unrelated cause, you will think twice every time you pause in front of a fast food menu.
Badass Face Palm to ... Chik-fil-A for "anti-foaming agent," MSG, "butter-flavored oil," and "natural mold inhibitor." According to its own website, the fast food chain long known as being a somewhat healthier option adds these Franken-gredients to popular items like the chicken sandwich, grilled chicken sandwich and waffle fries. Gross AND scary.
Badass Fist Bump to ...Chik-fil-A for at least being honest about the ingredients in its products. The nutrition information and ingredient list for each and every item on their menu is right there, for better or worse, on the website. So a Fist Bump for truthfulness.
Badass Fist Bump to ... the Florida Department of Agriculture and State Chef Justin Timineri for working to make family meals and school lunches more nutritious. From helping low-income families shop healthy to incorporating more fresh fruits and veggies into school meals, they are playing a part in the fight against childhood obesity. That's a government intervention I can support.
Badass Fist Bump to ... Cheesecake Factory for departing (slightly) from its calorie-bomb menu items to create the "Skinnylicious" menu of appetizers,salads, sandwiches and entrees - all of them between 400 and 600 calories and considerably healthier than the high-fat, feeds-a-family-of-four options elsewhere on the menu. I tried a few appetizers on a recent trip to Miami, and it was all delicious - nothing "diet" in the taste and flavor. The rest of the menu still gets a Face Palm for its gluttonous portions and ingredients, but this is a step in the right direction.
Badass Fist Bump to...Couch to 5K, Insanity, P90X and other fitness programs/regimens that make the masses move and reach new levels of health. Fitness can be intimidating - specifically, going from being a "couch potato" to walking into a gym full of buff bods or the idea of going from not being able to do one pushup, much less 10. These programs, by going in small steps or by allowing us to work out from our living room, take away the pressure of an audience while boosting confidence over time. Not to mention the fact that some of these are seriously challenging!
Badass Face Palm to ... Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa. Turns out, their storied story of serving organic vegetables grown on their farm is more myth than reality. And only when confronted by the Tampa Bay Times' awesome - and tenacious - food critic did management 'fess up. If it isn't organic and local, fine. Say so. But don't sell us a pricey meal and call it something it isn't. My face palm is delivered with oomph on this one. So disappointing...
Badass Fist Bump to...every one who is reading this right now. If you're here, you are seeking a better, more Badass you. And that's where the journey begins. Rock on with your Badass selves!
Coming next week: 5 healthy ways to hydrate that are less boring than water...and a Burger with Fries that won't wreck your healthy eating plans.