How many of you have heard the statement “the personal is political”?

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I’ve always taken that to mean you should live your life in accordance with your beliefs, political or otherwise. For example, how effective of a personal trainer would I be if I ate fast food burgers all day and weighed more than my clients?

So I have a problem with politicians who say one thing and do another. I don’t think this quality falls to one party or the other, I think it goes across both sides of the aisle. (President Obama, put down those cigarettes!)

In this election season there is one local politician in Southwest Missouri who I believe could take a lesson in this area. While I won’t mention him by name, his slogan (plastered on yard signs everywhere) is “Fed Up?”

Now the irony is, whether he realizes it or not, is he appears to be very well fed indeed. Not to mock, but as a fitness professional he appears to be well over the mark for a healthy weight and body fat measurement.

When you visit his web site he makes it very clear he is for budgetary discipline. My problem is he appears to lack the personal discipline to take care of his own health and fitness.

One of my favorite people, Suze Orman, says health and wealth go hand and hand. I couldn’t agree more. If you can’t manage your personal calorie budget than how can you manage a federal spending budget. In my mind the calorie budget should be the easier, less complicated of the two. If you can’t manage that, then I am reluctant to believe you can manage the other.

The other issue I have (which I have with many in the health care debate) is this candidate states very clearly that the health care crisis should be solved by individuals, not goverment .  The candidate’s web site says,

“….believes that we must reform healthcare to put patients and doctors in charge of medical decisions.”

Again, by appearances, he does not seem to be living up to his own standard. Obesity is the leading contributor to a number of chronic illnesses, like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  The Washington Post stated that between 2001 and 2007 the cost of treating type 2 diabetes alone doubled to the tune of $ 12.5 million per year. Type 2 diabetes is one disease which can be prevented and controlled with lifestyle changes. This candidate for the US House MO District 7 appears to have not gotten the message about how he should change his personal behavior to help change this alarming health care statistic and growing health care cost.

A leader, or a want to be leader, has a responsibility to be a role model for the type of change he or she endorses. I think Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is a good example of this when it comes to health and fitness.  In 2003 when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes he took charge like a leader should. He led by example. He lost over 110 lbs and, in turn, made health care reform a priority.  I don’t agree with all of his politics, but I applaud him for doing the right thing for his own health and for the health of his state.

So my challenge is this. To our “Fed Up” candidate-show me you can do for yourself what you wish to do in government. Show some personal discipline by taking charge of your health and fitness.  How much you can you do to affect your health and fitness by Election Day?

I’m curious, anyone else feel the same way about any of the candidates in your area this election cycle?

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