Famous Foodie Gets Fit Without Renouncing Food

January 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

by Anthony Adragna

Just because you’re stuck in an unhealthy or harmful behavioral pattern right now does not mean you cannot liberate yourself.  Countless others have, including a number of celebrities.  Oftentimes, a medical diagnosis serves as a harsh wake-up call for those who have long indulged in unhealthy habits.

Consider the case of restaurateur Joe Bastianich. As the son of prominent TV personality Lidia Bastianich and the business partner of famed chef Mario Batali, Joe was obsessed with food.  At the age of 40, though, a diagnosis of sleep apnea forced him to reconsider his lifestyle and step outside his comfort zone into the running world.

Before the diagnosis, Bastianich lived the stereotypical Italian-American life. He told the New York Times in 2008 of late-night eating marathons in which he and Batali would gorge themselves into the early morning.  Shortly before his 40th birthday, Bastianich was told that he would need to wear a breathing mask nightly. He decided to make a change.

“Before, food and wine were the dominating things in my life,” he said. “You do all that, and you never worried about the effects because the effects are inherent to the job. When the job becomes secondary, and the effects of your body become primary, that starts taking a second seat to how you respond to what you put in your body and you treat it. It’s kind of a flip-flop.”

He added running to his life and completed the 2008 New York City Marathon. Soon after, his enthusiasm spread to members of his staff at several restaurants across New York City. Now, chefs, bartenders and other members of the staff run together in Central Park and six of them ran in the 2010 New York City Marathon.

Bastianich learned to implement small, manageable changes in order to achieve success Rather than compromise what he eats, or eliminate favorite foods like pasta, Bastianich has replaced his unhealthy habits with healthy ones like eating breakfast and smaller portions.

By remodeling his own life, Bastianich not only revitalized himself, but he also inspired change in others.  His staff has found strength in numbers when training and running. As a group, they have pushed themselves to reach new goals, much like the Spartan Army.  Take advantage of your own social network, whether it be professional or social, to rev up your training.

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