Thursday, April 18, 2013

CPK, Stop Marketing Soda to Kids

As a dietitian and a parent, I'm very sensitive to how foods are marketed to kids.  This week I took my daughter with me to meet some family friends for dinner at California Pizza Kitchen.  Of couse when we sat down, my kids got their own Kids Menu complete with pages to color, crosswords, and word searches.

I'm not going to go into their kids menu but let's just say it is pretty standard and could use some improvement but that's another post.

After my daughter was done coloring she wanted some help with the word search.  Since she's not even reading yet, I was doing most of the work and as I tried to help her find words, I noticed what one of the word search words was, "Pepsi!" See the picture below.

Well, needless to say I was a little upset about why on earth Pepsi would need to be included in the word search.  Maybe it's just what CPK thinks makes up a healthy kids meal.  Pizza, pasta, sundae, brownie and Pepsi.  Why that's just all the good stuff a growing body needs.  Sugar, fat and salt. Yum!

So I took to Twitter and posted the tweet below. 
I didn't expect a response at all but the good news is that tonight, CPK sent me the following tweet:
I'm always amazed by the power of social media.  I'm not naive enough to think that just because of my tweet that CPK is changing it's word search, but the point is, when you notice something that goes against what you believe in, make your voice heard.

How have you noticed junk foods marketed to kids?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mission Accomplished!

Well, I can say that I am a marathoner!  I can't believe it but I completed my goal and finished the LA Marathon last month.

I've been waiting to write this post about my run because honestly, it has taken me a while to process what I've done.

Let's start with the basics.  My time was 6:32 minutes.  My goal was to be under 6 hours but that didn't happen.  I ended up waking the last 9 miles because I was feeling pretty nauseous.  Leave it to a dietitian to screw up race-day nutrition!  Regardless of my time, I never felt down, or upset or angry.  I finished and above all things, I kept moving forward. I even put a reminder on my hands to keep me focused on the goal, "Forward is a pace."

The day was filled with emotions.  I was scared and nervous as my wife drove me to the starting line. I could barely eat my pre-race meal because of my nerves.  When I got to the starting line I calmed down and I was so happy to have some friends from work there who I was going to run with.  My father also came to send me off as well.  We were supposed to run together but an injury during training sidelined him for the big day.

As the race started and I waited for my turn to cross the starting line, my first tears of the day began to form.  I was really going to do this.  With all the training and anticipation, I couldn't believe the moment was finally here and in that moment I realized why I was doing this.

Ready for the start.
I was challenging myself because even though I am a totally different person, there is still a part of me that thinks of myself the young man that weighed 300+ pounds that could not walk up a flight of stairs and who shied away from any exercise. That person does not exist anymore, but the memory of that former life is like I'm am still living it.  So crossing the start line I raised my hands up in joy because the courage was to start, and not in the finish.  I started this journey to prove to myself (again) that I am strong. That I am an athlete.  That I am a runner and that I can do anything I put my mind to.

Greeting my kids
During the race there were other moments of joy filled tears.  Tears came twice as I saw the video message that my wife and kids made as it played on the big screen at mile 8 and 21.  There were more tears as I met  my kids at mile 23.  It was a moment I will never forget and I honestly can't think which was more meaningful, the kiss and hugs I got from my kids or finally crossing the finish line. Of course there were even more tears as I finally crossed the finish line and was reunited with my wife!  What I didn't expect, though, were the tears that came in the days after as I began to reflect on what I had done.  Not one tear was from pain, sadness or anguish, but rather joy, pride and awe.

Hugging my wife at the finish line
I ran the marathon alone but I couldn't have done it without so much support from friends and family.  I have to, of course, thank my wife for being my biggest cheerleader and supporter.  Seeing my friends and family along the course was so great so thanks to everyone who came out to cheer me along.  Thanks also should be given to my father who helped me train.  Running with him early weekend mornings was an amazing experience!  I should also thank my un-official coach Juli for helping me plan training runs and listening to me while I worried about each new milestone.  And lastly, I have to thank my friend Dana who was my first running partner.  She was such a great help to me.  Every time I had a bad run or had any self-doubt, she helped me refocus and encouraged me to stay positive. The best thing she did was jumping in at mile 19 and walking the last part of that marathon with me.  Having her alongside me helped me move forward each step.  Thank you to you all!

Overall I have to say my marathon experience was nothing but positive.  Remember, up until just a couple of years ago, I've never been a runner.  So this milestone was huge for me.  If I can go from the couch to 26.2 miles in just a couple of years, so can you.  I'm already thinking of what my next race will be.  Maybe a half marathon, maybe a 10k or maybe another marathon.  Are you inspired by my story?  Want to join me?

I got my medal!
The mass of runners climbing Hill St.

All smiles at mile 24!
Dana greets me at mile 19