What’s holding you back?

Part of a continuing series related to ideas in my book, “Sustainable You/8 First Steps to Lasting Change in Business and in Life.”

I spent a swath of my life convinced I was doomed to a life of lonely fatitude in which I might as well eat to wretched excess whenever I wanted to, because it was as close to fellowship and love that I was going to get.

Today, I am 12-plus years into a supportive marriage, overflowing with love for each other and our gift of a boy, Joey.

Where do you want to go?

[This is the first in a series of posts about how we sustain ourselves, based upon ideas presented in “Sustainable You, 8 First Steps to Lasting Change in Business and in Life,” available from Fisherblue Press.]

Say you want to drive cross-country to visit your college roommate, whose house you’ve never been to. Here are some scenarios for achieving that goal:

Brian Campkin: "I want to be part of curing heart disease"

Welcome to another episode of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and ask brief answers in return. Today’s guest has is not easily classified: He’s an author, a professional speaker focused on wellness, and an official spokesman for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, all while he keeps his day job working for Canada’s largest telecom. His book is “From Survivor to Thriver, The Story of a Modern-Day Tin Man." Remember, “10 Words” is an ethic, not a limit, so to those of you at home, please, no counting. If you think it’s so easy, let’s see you do it, especially on the fly.

This is an edited version of the interview. If you prefer, watch the full video interview.

Brian Campkin, professional speaker and official spokesman of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of CanadaName  Brian Campkin
Born when, where  Dec. 3, 1960, Trenton, Ontario, Canada
Resides now  Whitby, Ontario
Job  "I work for Rogers Communications. My role is an inside sales manager, selling their portfolio of products to small business."
Family circumstance  "Married, three daughters, eldest is also married, and I have a grandson."
Something you learned before age 10 that still matters  "Your word is your bond."
An early influence outside your family  “Bullying. When I was in grade school, I wasn’t the biggest kid in the class, but I had a sense of humor and could run fast, and both of those got me out of a ton of trouble. Even being the smallest, I still came to their rescue. It’s just something I won’t stand for."
A historical figure you particularly admire  "John Lennon. I like where he came from, I like where he got to, I don’t like how he ended, but that wasn’t his doing. That was a bully."

Lathe Poland: "The healthcare system doesn’t benefit from our being healthy."

Welcome to another installment of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and request brief answers from them in return. Today’s participant is the co-producer, co-director, and writer of “Carb Loaded: A Culture Dying to Eat,”  a film that came out Oct. 1. We spoke on Oct. 3, and you can find a video version of our conversation here. Please remember: “10 words” is an intention, not a limit, so please, no counting. If you think it’s easy, let’s see you do it.

Lathe Poland, co-creator  of "Carb Loaded."Name Lathe Poland
Born when, where Carson City Nev., winter 1973
Where do yo live now? Fairfield County, Conn.
Occupation Filmmaker
Family composition "Married 17 years with amazing wife, just the two of us."
An early formative experience “Learning [in junior high school] that food could trigger migraines for me had a pretty big impact on my view on nutrition.”
Your first paying job “You’re going to love this one. I dotted chocolates at a chocolate factory [pause] which actually connects to the previous answer I gave you."
Wisdom you retain from that experience "Find work that you actually love to do."

10 Words or Less with Darin Detwiler

Darin Detwiler, food safety authority and advocateWelcome to another text installment of “10 Words or Less,” in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and request brief answers in return. (Previously, I posted the video of our chat; this is the edited transcript, for those who prefer text.) Today’s participant is a food-safety advocate and college instructor in regulatory affairs who formerly operated a nuclear reactor. (I can’t count how many of my friends can say that!) Please remember that “10 Words” is an ethic, not a rule, so please, no counting. If you think it’s easy, let’s see you do it.
Name Darin Detwiler (right)
Born when, where May 19, 1968, San Francisco
Resides "Salem, Mass., known for the Salem Witch Trials, which are allegedly tied to food-borne illness, as the source of the deliria that was perceived as witchcraft."
Job "I have two jobs: Adjunct professor at Northeastern University, where I teach in regulatory affairs of food and food industry. Also, I’m the senior policy coordinator at Stop Foodborne Illness, a national nonprofit that supports victims and their families."
What you wanted to be when you grew up "Actually, two things. I wanted to be a musician, and I wanted to be a seismologist. I really wanted to shake, rattle, and roll."
Your first paying job "When I was in high school, I played a Santa Claus at a mall. [Pause.] It wasn’t that paying."
Wisdom you retain from that experience "Never say to a kid, or ask a kid, about their parents, Mom or Dad. Always say ‘folks,’ because folks is generic, and can apply to adopted or grandparents or foster parents. We go through life thinking everyone had to fit into a cookie cutter, but there are many children who have different family situations."

10 Words or Less with Lathe Poland

We recorded this interview Friday, Oct. 3, two days after the film's release. Poland and his partner, Eric Carlsen, financed the film, which looks at how America feeds itself and the effects thereof, through Kickstarter. As regular readers know, I'll be following up this post with an edited text version of the interview sometime in the next week. But for now, our conversation just as it happened...

Darin Detwiler: "The death bed is a horrible place to learn about food safety."

Darin Detwiler and I conducted this interview on Thursday. Detwiler is the senior policy coordinator for Stop Foodborne Illness and an instructor on regulatory affairs and food industries at Northeastern University. As I do, he has a deeply personal motivation to be in his line of work: His son was one of four young people who died in the 1993 E. coli outbreak at Jack in the Box restaurants in the Northwest. He tells that heartbreaking story in the interview, while also sharing vital information of use to anyone who eats.

Going trayless in cafeterias — a mixed outcome

I said in a recent post that there is very little black and white, compared to all the gray of decision-making, and here’s another example.

Brian Wansink and David Just do some interesting research at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, and the finding in this report is that cafeterias, in schools and otherwise, ditch their buffet trays, the victim is often salad at the expense of dessert.

trayOne reason many cafeterias have gone trayless is to reduce energy use (repeatedly cleaning all those trays), to which Just and Wansink add a desire to cut down on food waste: People are less likely to take food they’re not going to eat when it’s easier to carry.

But when they went to a college cafeteria to test what happens when trays are taken away, they found that if forced to choose among making multiple trips, or leaving something at the expense of something else.

Students were more reluctant to take a salad, as 18.3% fewer students took salads on the trayless day than the students on the normal day. Without trays, many patrons tried to compensate for having fewer items on their trays by taking more of the few items they took. Because of this students were less likely to eat all of their entrée (38.8% vs. 85.7%), salad (53.6% vs. 91.7%), or dessert (52.7% vs 90.7%)—though the amount of dessert remaining was insignificant.

So not only did it not cut down on food waste, it altered food choices for the unhealthier. Getting rid of the trays seems like a good idea, from the energy perspective. So this is just another example that few matters are black and white, that the color of most decisions in gray.


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