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IDEA World Fitness Convention 2003
Sunday, July 20 - Navigating Fat Traps

8:15 a.m. I arrive in Anaheim too late to participate in the Zenergy Hour Charity Workout - everyone is already zoned out in a meditation led by Cathleen Murakami (Lawrence Biscontini and Moira Merrithew led the Yoga and Pilates segments). So I make my way over to the Starbucks located in the Marriott and stand in a very long line for coffee. As I'm waiting, I casually pick up a box of milk chocolate-covered cherries and read the nutritional info. Ugh! If someone ate the whole 8-ounce package, they'd consume 1,080 calories and 48 grams of fat! That's practically lunch and dinner for me! When I finally am close enough to check out the Starbuck's collection of morning pastries, I note that they're all huge - like three servings' worth. Whatever happened to portion control? I choose an apple crisp - the smallest pastry they have there - to go with my Tall Mocha. By Starbucks measurements, this is practically a dainty breakfast.

(Article continued below.)

Why am I so obsessed with food this morning? My first class of the day is a lecture (my one and only sit down class) called "Down With Diets - the Sad Truth About Today's Diets." On the elevator up, a fellow Convention attendee enthusiastically tells me what I missed during the Zenergy Hour. The elevator buzzes like it's about to malfunction and a male hotel guest who is clearly not part of the Convention jokes, "Hey, only 1800 pounds is allowed on here at a time - I think you girls need to lose weight!" Muscle weighs more than fat," I inform him as the elevator gets going again.

9:00 a.m. Philip Walker, our lecturer, is the managing director of the Walker Wellness Clinic in Dallas, Texas. He doesn't sound like your typical Texan, however - probably because he's British. The Walker Wellness Clinic deals with eating disorders, and Walker is very passionate about his topic. He informs us that, in spite of his slender physique, according to BMI measurements, he is 17 pounds overweight. I take enough notes during this lecture to make up a completely separate article (you'll see it sometime in the next few weeks), but the bottom line is that the reason diets don't work is that they focus on weight loss, not behavioral change, and it's society that is making people irrational about their weight. We also hear some horror stories about gastric (bariatric) surgery (it doesn't change the metabolic weight, so pounds can creep back on), and liposuction (sure, you take the weight off your thighs, but it'll come back somewhere else, like your arms or back). I'll be digesting the information in this lecture for quite some time.

10:50 a.m. My last workshop of the Convention is Strictly Matwork, taught by Dian Nissen-Ramirez. It's a very practical, no-nonsense class about proper alignment and proper form for practicing Pilates (you would not believe what some people are teaching that passes as Pilates - even a simple exercise like the Hundred can get bastardized over time). You'd think that after all these Pilates classes over the past four days, I wouldn't need a class like this, but once again I'm reminded that there's a lot more to learn, and re-learn. That's why, burned out as I am, I'm still a bit sad that the Convention is over. I may take tomorrow off from exercise and sleep in, but the day after, I'm gonna get moving and put some of what I learned to use!

12:30 p.m. On my way to the 5 freeway north, I stop at a red light right across the street from Disneyland. Groups of families are crossing in front of me. I watch the various shapes and sizes of people pass by and realize that I can tell who works out regularly and who doesn't. Those who do, regardless of their size, walk taller, have visible muscle tone and seem more confident. Those who don't just sort of blend in with the crowd. But, according to my fellow Convention attendees, it's the crowd that's really important - these are the people they want to reach. The fit people are already there with us. The rest need to be shown that exercise is fun, that fitness makes you feel good and that it's possible to avoid many illnesses by staying active. And all these fitness professionals I've seen over the past four days will soon be flying or driving back to their homes so they can get to work changing the world, one body at a time.

Back to Start >> The IDEA World Fitness Convention 2003 >> Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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