Thursday, June 09, 2005

Ed Knows

I was reviewing the guidebook and diet guideline for a new program we're launching and read with interest a tip to stay in control of your diet even if you are eating at a restaurant. As I read I was reminded of the time when I first witnessed someone take control of their order this way; I was at a dinner with Ed McMahon of "Tonight Show" and "Star Search" fame, and his wife Pam. He had just finished his own health-transformation at the Pritikin center in Santa Monica, learning how to improve his exercise and diet plans. And when the waiter of this gourmet restaurant came to take our orders, Ed proceeded to spell out exactly what he wanted on the menu - and exactly how it was to be prepared. Furthermore, Pam pulled a zip lock bag out of her purse with the only seasonings to be used, plus a guideline for the portion size and exactly how much salt was allowed to hit the plate. This was extreme.

I was blown away - here is a top personality in entertainment, and instead of living a life of decadence, he was proactively making sure that his exposure to heart disease and other diet related problems were much more under his control, simply by not letting the restaurant dictate what he would put into his body. Impressive stuff. This, of course was before I knew starting Beachbody was in my future, and thus before I got my own act together. That night I think I had the steak. The fries. Extra wine. Extra bread.

Not long after that time of my life, I learned my cholesterol was topping 300.

Things have changed in these fifteen years since that dinner! Food choices effect the quality of your life - no matter how successful you are. Ed knows. Now I know.


Mary Cecy said...

Some day I will have the courage to do the same. Ask to have things made my way, not their way... That is why I only go to places where they make things healthier already. No need to ask additional instructions. Kind of cool.

You keep at it. Keep showing Ava and everyone that it works all the time.

J. Scott Campbell said...

I think there must be some better way to handle this... unless Mr. McMahon spends the majority of his time eating out... or his condition has become life threatening.

The BB program's tiered food levels don't exclude anything but help balance smarter choices. I am finding every restaurant (non-fast food that is) has decent choices with just a little "tweaking" such as "can I have the dressing on the side?" Without sending things back or ignoring the skills of the chef. That combined with actually picking the restaurant makes a powerful overall change in anyone's diet.

I think that Mr. McMahon's approach actually would turn the staff and guests against his position because he is so self-focused at other's expense. Could he have said "I'd like a smaller serving with no salt?" When one or two customers change the entire recipe people have to wonder why you are even there... make sense? I do admire his commitment to health but I think he will drive away people like the unhappy vegetarian Aunt at Thanksgiving who won't eat ANYTHING and no one wants to invite back.