Fitness Fanatic Wellness Expert Health
Nut. In an odd way, I guess you would say I am proud to have these titles
attached to the name Heather Foy.
I appreciate, in a small town like Madison, Ind., the fact that many local
residents know that I am passionate about a healthy lifestyle and hope
that by leading by example and teaching others, I might inspire others
to prevent disease, instead of waiting to treat it.
I thought growing up as a PK (Preachers Kid) often felt
like I was living in a glass house. I guess any teenager living in a small
town worries that eyes are watching. Typically, those judgment-filled
eyes are watching for mistakes, not successes.
As an adult, I live a public life that most would consider Healthy I wonder
if my career now forces watchful eyes to view my grocery cart and my lifestyle
choices. Just because I remind others about the importance of exercise,
or teach someone how to build a healthy dinner plate, doesnt mean
that I make perfect choices 100 percent of the time.
Referring back to my small-town situation is this
why I pass former patients in the grocery store who inspect items in my
cart and smile when they see cookies? I actually thought a fitness center
buddy would pass out from complete shock when she saw me coming out of
the doughnut shop (yes, with a white box in my hand).
A small part of me wonders if moving to a bigger city would provide the
opportunity to enjoy fried, not grilled chicken, at a restaurant and have
no one I know question my choice?
The following list might astonish you. But I expect that each one of us
has a secret list of junk-food confessions. Yes, I have the knowledge
that foods high in saturated fat will elevate cholesterol levels. Having
this knowledge does not mean that I have never consumed a fast food French
I confess: I love Alfredo sauce.
I confess: I wish peanut butter was a vegetable.
I confess: There is a box of Little Debbies in my pantry.
Coming out with my confessions remind me that no one makes the Healthy
choice 100 percent of the time. Just because the word wellness
is used frequently behind my name doesnt mean that I cannot enjoy
my favorite food which happens to be ice cream! Yes, I have consumed
a Blizzard (several over the years). The big picture or moral of the story
is that I do not have to give up or eliminate ice cream. I just have to
make smart choices at least 80 percent of the time.
A favorite college professor during my tenure at the University of Louisville
was Dr. Bryant Stamford. My local small-town community is now blessed
to have Stamford sharing his knowledge with students at Hanover College
as a professor of Exercise Science. As a student, you hope to soak in
a portion of Stamfords knowledge.
A rule that I distinctly remember him teaching in class is
the 80-20 Rule. I often share this concept with others during wellness
programs, classes I teach, and speaking engagements. My hope is to convince
other to follow this simple plan to sustain good health.
The concept is simple: Make healthy choices 80 percent of the time. If
you faithfully follow this rule, in most cases, you should be able to
enjoy a treat, indulge, or splurge in small ways 20 percent of the time.
Its what you do most of the time that is important.
I recently contacted Stamford for a follow-up thought on the 80-20 Rule.
He reminded me that this rule is ideal if people are satisfied
with their current weight, blood lipid levels or overall health status.
With this said, if you are struggling with your weight, for example,
you cannot afford to indulge 20 percent of the time because it would be
a step backward for you, he said.
Work to get to where you need to be and know that from that point
on you longer have to exist on cardboard and bean sprouts, but can enjoy
rich foods on occasion. (This is good news for my rare amusement
for a very small portion of Alfredo sauce.)
Stamford reminds others that the more you concentrate on eating healthy
foods, the more you retrain your taste buds. Perhaps in the past
you needed a huge splurge of goodies before being satisfied, but now,
after eating healthy for many months, youll find that a much smaller
dose of rich foods will do the trick.
The facts are, that everyone no matter how healthy he might
appear faces food temptations and days when they might not
have the go-getum desire to jump out of bed and face the treadmill.
I, like every other adult, cycle through periods of time when I lose motivation
or run low on will-power.
Remember that doughnut box? The truth is, that I ate one, just one. The
rare treat to the doughnut shop takes place once every couple of months
for my family. We know that we cannot eat them every morning.
I traditionally exercise six days a week, pledge to never super-size,
and make dietary choices to improve, not hamper, my health 80 percent
of the time.
Every American knows that an apple is a smarter snack choice than a candy
bar. The question is, Can we choose the apple eight out of 10 days and
enjoy a bite-size (not a king-size) candy bar the other two days?
Heather Foy is a 20-year coach and group exercise instructor
in Madison, Ind., who has been in the Wellness field for nearly 20 years. Email
her at email@example.com.