I hadn’t even thought about it but the Queen of Soul herself could certainly have used the advice on my website, in my books and in this blog. Let’s face it, she was a total disaster: morbidly obese, diabetic, afraid to fly and Lord knows what else – all helped with the aid of surgery (well maybe not the flying part although I do know a really good hypnotist) – supposedly.  But although this week’s blog is about respect – respect for yourself, others, your body, your health – I didn’t mean to pick on Aretha, it just happened.

Speaking of respect, one of my favorite lines from reality TV this week happens to come from Mob Wives once again.  I am telling you – it is completely addictive sort of like the antifreeze they put in donuts (not kidding – heard it on The Doctors).  I believe the line was uttered by Karen Graziano (but if truth be told, I haven’t been able to tell them apart yet) – she said that people had respect for me when my father was committing murders but not when he was cooperating with the Feds – Honey, what kind of circles do you run in? Go figure!

And if truth be old, I am a total Gleek; well, that is the truth but today’s theme also comes from Glee.  Mercedes, the stereotypical obese black singer with a huge voice (read Aretha) did not feel she was getting enough respect from the rest of the glee club so she became a diva.  Meanwhile, the true diva, Rachel, had to convince her that you have to go out and grab respect; do something well and make people respect you for what you do. Ensure the good will of others because of your good actions, not because of the fear you inspire in people.  Although Rachel is not liked, she puts stardom ahead of everything else – she lets nothing get in her way.

The same holds true for dieting and a healthy lifestyle.  We just all need to have a little bit more respect.  Respect for ourselves and respect for the process because it is a process.  I can’t tell you how many patients tell me about their friends who they want to come to see me or their friends who blindly follow their doctors advice without giving their problem any thought on their own and how frustrated they are with them.  But, I always tell them that they have to respect the decisions others make especially when it comes to their health.

I encourage them to have a discussion about what they are doing and how much it has helped them but also tell them to just back off – let the person come to their own decision.  The best thing we can do is to teach by example and with integrative medicine, it can be a rough road.  There is the ridicule, the laughter that is elicited every time you take out all your supplements; and the go-to one that is my favorite: how can you live without __________.

Relationships are hard enough but when it comes to speaking about health and nutrition, it can very difficult; but not as much as when it comes to potentially going to prison.   And only for falsifying your daughter’s signature and sending an innocent man to jail.  I mean, come on upper east siders who don’t eat anyway.  Lilly finally decided to turn herself in – this is a long complicated story so trust me on this.  She has always had a difficult relationship with her mother.  So, the first time they see each other, Lilly whose mug shot was on page 6 says to her mother, “yes, that’s why I turned myself in – so my hair would look good in my mug shot.” Speaking of page 6, the arbiter of something in this gossip crazed city, another great line from that show (Gossip Girl – come on people, keep up) “the only thing thicker than blood is the ink on page 6.”

While that may not have been the most respectful thing to say to one’s mother, the ends must sometimes justify the means. And I have found that with perseverance, you can get your friends and loved ones to try some of your “outlandish” notions of not eating sugar, or not eating pasta; or gluten or whatever it may be that makes you feel better. You really have to gain their respect by being the best you can be.

Show them what healthy really means and what it looks like. Our role models are poor enough and although it is easier than ever to be healthy, it still isn’t cheap nor is it acceptable in most circles.

I recognize that most of us have an eating disorder of one sort or another. It may not be a classic anorexia or bulimia but we have a disordered relationship with food. We fail to recognize that food is a big part of how we feel; or, when we do, it can become a monumental task to stay on track, to help teach others, to follow what we know is best in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  I do it, many of my patients do it and I know you can do it too.  Before I segue into something pop culturish again, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you, who stick to your programs, refer your friends and family members to our practice, blogs, newsletters, etc. It isn’t easy but it sure is fun.

Ok, I am going to try this contest thing again because no one won last time. I will make it a bit simpler and this one has so much to do with current affairs. With the royal wedding just slowly fading from our microscope (I am sure Kate and William were quite pleased that Osama was killed if only to take away at least some of the ink from them), the answer does involve the royal family.

My physical therapist is English – well her mother is so she thinks she is too (I really hope she isn’t reading this) and while she has been working on my back spasm and yes thank you it is much better – we talk about lineage and the royal home wrecker – Camilla Parker Bowles.  The real question on our minds is whether or not Camilla could become Queen should Queen Elizabeth ever die – if she is anything like her mother, she will be around for ages.  Because Camilla is a divorcee and because Charles and Camilla were married in a civil ceremony (an obscure law written in 1845 does not recognize a civil ceremony involving a member of the royal family – don’t you wish we had a royal family and not just Brangelina) it would preclude her from ever becoming Queen and would make their marriage null and void.

So, the question is:

1. What member of the royal family abdicated the throne to marry, and I quote, a hermaphroditic Nazi sympathizer? 2. Who uttered those words? 3. What two shows could you have gotten the answer to these questions? (one is a movie and the other a tv show)

The winner receives a free gift from my web store so be sure to send in your answers as soon as possible.

So, while I don’t ask you to respect my choices in television entertainment, I do hope that you can respect why I write these blogs – it gets me to write about my two favorite things in the whole world – food and television – in the same narrative. And while you may think television is simply mindless drivel – I encourage you to have some respect for the characters, allow them to grow on you and listen to what they say. There is a lot of undertones to the dialog that may just help you lose those last stubborn few pounds. In my case, it makes me happy and keeps me out of the refrigerator – my brand new one that I just got this week. I love it so much, I could move into it.

Oh, and in last week’s American Idol was I the only one to notice that J-Lo pulled a Paris Hilton when one of the contestants surprised her by pulling her away from the table where they sit and her va-jay-jay was almost revealed had it not been for her quick thinking to cross her legs.  That’s how high her skirt was – growing up in the hood must give you lightning fast reflexes – but what about panties?????

Until next time…