PYP 193: Justin Lacy on Escaping the Dungeon of Obesity

Two years ago, Justin Lacy weighed 500 pounds, and could move about only on crutches — when he could move about at all. His tendonitis and lymphedema made standing painful and walking all but impossible. Following his mother’s stroke, the then-30-year-old Justin decided that he was going to make changes and get healthy, no matter what. Read more »

The Old Fart Booth Effect: A Weird Mind Hack that Makes Exercise Easier

Look in the mirror. Say your name. You’ve just activated a section of your brain devoted to YOU. Now think of some random celebrity. Say their name. You’ve just activated a totally different section of your brain, this one dedicated to OTHERS. Now - and here’s where this gets freaky - think of yourself in 20 years. Which part of your brain just got turned on? The YOU circuit, or the OTHER circuit? If you’re like most people - pretty much everyone, in fact - you think about your future self as if she or he is a total stranger. Read more »

PYP 190: Clay Garrett on Stumbling Toward a Healthy and Kind Diet

Growing up in rural East Texas, Clay Garrett was raised to appreciate meat. His father, an agriculture instructor, literally taught an entire class on how to produce, process and cook meat. And the "meat and butter at every meal" cuisine was never linked, in anyone's mind, to the family history of high cholesterol and cancer, let alone to the digestive issues that ruled Clay's life. Read more »

PYP 189: Dave Wiskowski on the Simple Practices that Healed His Depression

In 1987, fresh out of college, I took a job as a teaching intern at a fancy prep school in central New Jersey. One of the students who never made it across my radar was a quiet, blonde fifth grade boy named Dave Wiskowski. In his class photo, he’s not smiling, unlike many of his classmates. He told me that he was struggling with depression at that time, any for many years later. Like many people who find themselves overwhelmed by life and negative emotions, he became adept at self-medicating through food, alcohol, and self-pity. Read more »

PYP 188: Dr Chad Teeters on Becoming an Infamous Cardiologist

Dr John “Chad” Teeters grew up eating a good old meat and potato diet in his home state of North Carolina. An active kid, he looked and felt healthy and fit; his diet started catching up with him only when combined with the rigors of college, medical school, and medical residency. For his entire adult life, Chad struggled with weight, gaining and losing pounds as his activity levels and self-control waxed and waned. After competing in a couple of triathlons in 2005, he let go of the struggle and gained roughly 10 pounds a year for the next 10 years. Read more »

PYP 187: Katie Simmons on the Universal Language of Food

Katie Simmons was working as a traditionally trained chef and moonlighting as a fitness instructor when the dare happened. She was struggling - as she had been her whole life - with her weight and her health. She managed to achieve a tentative balance between compulsive overeating and compulsive overexercising, but still dealt with feeling lousy and often ashamed of herself. Then the dare - go vegan for one month - changed everything. Read more »

PYP 185: Doug Schmidt on Finding (and Sharing) the Fountain of Youth

Doug Schmidt is an enrichment teacher and health and wellness coordinator for his upstate New York school district. Now, health and wellness coordinators generally focus on stress reduction in the workplace, smoking cessation, and getting teachers to increase their physical activity by taking the stairs and parking farther away from the front entrance. Read more »

Obesity, Disease, and Fat Shaming: a Conversation on the Curiously Veg Podcast

Josh LaJaunie and I had a spirited conversation with Hope Hughes and David Powell, hosts of the Curiously Veg Podcast, about a recent BBC documentary which featured the autopsy of an obese woman. Hope and David were taken aback by critics who accused the film of fat shaming. They reached […] Read more »