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Harmony with Food Radio Show Episode #226: Hollyweird & Exercise for Mental Health

This week on the Harmony with Food Radio Show, we talked about the role that celebrities play in diet culture, and we had guest expert Lori Bernard on from Aspire Fitness and Wellness to talk about the impact of exercise on mental health.

Listen to the Episode

Hollyweird - Celebrities and Diet Culture

Do you ever feel like celebrities are selling their souls when it comes to diet culture? Today we are going to cover a few different examples of this.

Kanye West & McDonald's

Kanye West has partnered with McDonald's to redesign their packaging and likely do a meal collaboration. I was so angry when I heard this because he could really help his community, and instead he's helping out McDonald's!

Honestly, if McDonald's approached me and offered me $10 million, I would have to say no way.

Oprah & Weight Watchers

Oprah is another celebrity who has made millions from diet culture. The first day that she partnered with Weight Watchers, she made $42 million! Oprah's weight has gone up and down her entire life, and so much of that is because dieting doesn't work. Yet here she is promoting Weight Watchers! I played this clip from her conversation with Kelly Ripa on the show.

Dr. Oz

In this clip, senators are asking Dr. Oz why he uses words like miracle and magic pill to promote products. Dr. Oz says he sometimes uses 'flowery' or 'passionate' language, but that he believes in what he discusses on TV. Internet marketers regularly use his words to sell diet products.

Gwenyth Paltrow

In another case, Gwenyth Paltrow's lifestyle company agreed to pay a six figure settlement for a false advertising lawsuit filed by prosecutors from 10 California counties who claim that Goop didn't have scientific backing for the health claims on 3 different products.

Why is this important?

There are so many people out there, celebrities included, talking about nutrition who have no business doing so. They may call themselves health coaches or integrative nutrition coaches, but the health and wellness industry isn't well-regulated. You want to go to a licensed professional like me - I'm a registered dietician who has been practicing for over 20 years, and I'll help you sort through all of the confusing info out there!

Interview with Lori Bernard

Today I got to talk to Lori Bernard with Aspire Fitness and Wellness located in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. Lori graduated from Quinnipiac College in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. She practiced as an OT for 16 years and pivoted to take a more holistic approach to healthcare. She is also a certified personal fitness trainer, health coach, hypnotist, TRX instructor, and Reiki practitioner.

How Lori Works with Clients

Lori primarily works with clients 1:1 because she likes the privacy of it and that it allows her to talk more intimately about what may be going on. Some people have a negative connotation with exercise and think it may cause pain or be too difficult, so she works with them to find a type of exercise that works for them, and starts them off slowly.

Handling Exercise Anxiety

Lori calls her business a fitness studio because of the negative connotation that gyms have. She wanted her own studio to be welcoming and not intimidating.

She advises that fitness is different for everyone and that some people may just start off with stretching or what she calls functional training, which is mimicking the movements that you need to do in your daily life.

What is the best way to start exercising?

Lori recommends starting with very small goals. While one or three month goals are great, sometimes starting with what you can do today and tomorrow is the easiest way to get there. When people try to do too much too soon, they can get injured or discouraged and give up on exercise.

What's the difference between working with a personal trainer vs. an occupational therapist?

Unlike a personal trainer, Lori has experience in a healthcare setting. She's aware of a lot of things that you need to be mindful with during exercise, like health conditions, medications, surgeries, and more.

Episode Transcript


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